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Identification and Creation

Object Number
Flange-Handled Dagger
Weapons and Ammunition
Work Type
10th-8th century BCE
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Asia, Luristan (Iran)
Find Spot: Middle East, Iran, Western Iran
Iron Age
Persistent Link

Physical Descriptions

Cast, lost-wax process
4.1 x 33.7 cm (1 5/8 x 13 1/4 in.)
Technical Details

Chemical Composition: ICP-MS/AAA data from sample, Bronze:
Cu, 88.92; Sn, 10.19; Pb, 0.81; Zn, 0.007; Fe, 0.02; Ni, less than 0.01; Ag, 0.05; Sb, less than 0.05; As, less than 0.10; Bi, less than 0.025; Co, less than 0.01; Au, less than 0.01; Cd, less than 0.001

J. Riederer

Chemical Composition: XRF data from Tracer
Alloy: Bronze
Alloying Elements: copper, tin
Other Elements: lead, iron, silver

K. Eremin, January 2014

Chemical Composition: EMP analysis from sample, Bronze:
Cu, 89.69; Sn, 8.65; Pb, 0.10; Zn, 0.00; Fe, 0.01; Ni, 0.00; Ag, 0.03; Sb, 0.01; As, 0.00

T. Richardson, June 1999

Technical Observations: The patina is dark green and red. The piece was cast solid by the lost-wax process. There may be striations going along the hilt, but they are mostly obscured by the green corrosion layer. There is a pseudomorph of an inlay material near where the hilt meets the blade; the grain of the preserved organic material extends along the length of the hilt. The material may have been bone or wood, but the metal is too mineralized for identification. There are visible impressions of a long fiber that may have resulted from the dagger’s adjacency to a fibrous object during burial.

There are striations visible under the green corrosion along the length of the blade. The edges of the tip are rounded, and there are no tool marks. Minor casting flaws are visible in the blade and hilt. The hilt and blade were cast in one piece. The crack across the blade and the bent section are visible. There are dark lines on the lower guard.

Tracy Richardson (submitted 1999)


Recorded Ownership History
Kurt H. Weil, Montclair, NJ (1927-1992), by descent; to Kathleen Weil-Garris Brandt, New York (1992-2023), gift; to the Harvard Art Museums.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Professor Kathleen Weil-Garris Brandt
Accession Year
Object Number
Asian and Mediterranean Art

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Published Catalogue Text: Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes at the Harvard Art Museums
The triangular blade of this dagger is integral with the hilt. There is a narrow, rounded midrib on both sides of the blade. On both faces, the guard between the hilt and the blade is thickened metal, slightly rounded on the hilt edge. The edges of the hilt are raised, potentially to secure inlay, and the edge itself is scalloped, possibly for a better grip. The pommel flares into a mushroom-shape (1).


1. Compare E. O. Negahban, Weapons from Marlik, Archäologische Mitteilungen aus Iran 16 (Berlin, 1995) 45, nos. 160-61 M, 464 M, and 695 M, fig. 28, pl. 4.44-46 (dirks with three raised parallel ridges on the hilt); and M. Seifert, Luristan: Blankwaffen der Bronzezeit. Bestandskatalog der Luristanwaffen im Deutschen Klingenmuseum, B. Grotkamp-Schepers, ed. (Solingen, 2005) 49, no. 27 (a “Randleistendolch” with traces of wood in the handle).

Lisa M. Anderson

Publication History

  • Tracy Richardson, "A Technical Study of Luristan Bronzes From Ancient Iran" (thesis (certificate in conservation), Straus Center for Conservation and Technical Studies, June 1999), Unpublished, pp. 1-15 passim

Subjects and Contexts

  • Ancient Bronzes

Related Works

Verification Level

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